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FG summons S’Africa’s High Commissioner over attacks

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A member of the Economic Freedom Fighters holds a placard as he stands outside the Wynberg Magistrate court, in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, on April 21, 2015.

A member of the Economic Freedom Fighters holds a placard as he stands outside the Wynberg Magistrate court, in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, on April 21, 2015.

• Lagos Consulate office shut
• Senate wants Zulu king dragged to ICC
• Reps demand compensation for victims

THE Federal Government has called on South African authorities to punish the culprits and perpetrators of the xenophobic attacks in their country. They also called for compensation.

Also, the Senate on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government to drag Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini to International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC) over the deadly attacks and to immediately recall the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador S.S. Yusuf for consultation.

However, following ongoing protests in Nigeria over the attacks, South Africa has closed its consulate office in Lagos.

On its part, the House of Representatives has called on the South African government to facilitate immediate compensation of Nigerians who are victims of the attacks on blacks in some parts of the country.

Meanwhile, Pan-Yoruba group, O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC) has given a 24-hour ultimatum to South Africa to arrest and prosecute the country’s high ranking Zulu monarch Godwill Zwelithi whose alleged hate speech sparked off the attacks.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Min stry, Minister of State II , Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro summoned the High Commissioner, Lulu Mnguni “to register Nigeria’s protest over the attacks against fellow Africans in South Africa.

“In the meeting, Ambassador Obanikoro condemned the attacks, expressing concern on the fate of Nigerians and indeed of other nationals who are migrants in the country,” the statement said.

South Africa, Obanikoro said, needed to take “concrete steps to quell the unrest and bring the culprits involved to book to act as a deterrent and prevent further violence,” the statement added.

He also called on the South African authorities to compensate the victims of these attacks.

In his response, Ambassador Mguni expressed appreciation to the Government of Nigeria on the mature manner the crisis has been handled.

He also expressed appreciation to Nigeria’s Acting High Commissioner in Pretoria and the Consul General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, for their active engagement with the South African authorities on the matter.

In a motion of urgent national interest sponsored by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba and the remaining 108 Senators, the lawmakers resolved to summon the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, to explain measures taken so far to safeguard lives and properties of Nigerians in South Africa.

The Senate also resolved to urge federal government to pressurize South African government to bring perpetrators of attack, which has left several black Africans residing in South Africa dead, thousands displaced and millions of naira worth of property destroyed since the attack began, to book.

While condemning the barbaric act, the Senate expressed disappointment that South Africans should continue to maltreat and humiliate Nigerians in spite of the crucial role the country played towards ending apartheid.

Senators, who reacted to the motion described the action as condemnable and unacceptable.

President of the Senate, David Mark, in his remark, warned the government and people of South Africa not to push Nigerians to the wall.

“What is happening in South Africa is totally unacceptable, it is unexpected and my humble suggestion will be that South Africa should not stretch us beyond our elastic limit on this matter.

“There is a limit beyond which the nation will not accept what is happening in South Africa and if we go beyond that limit, then,
Nigeria will be forced to act “, Mark stated.

Chairman, House committee on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri Erewa while presenting the resolution of the House to the South African Ambassador to Nigeria,.

Lulu Louis Mnguni in his office in Abuja, said, apart from putting an end to the provocative and barbaric attacks on immigrants, the South African government should compensate survivors of the xenophobic attacks so that they can restart life.


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